Need to look great but lack the green to do so? No need to go into debt. Practice the art of smart shopping, and you’ll end up looking like a million bucks even though you paid less than a hundred.

Injured Piggy Bank WIth Crutches

Let’s look over some fabulous ways to spice up your wardrobe without breaking the bank:

 Tailor Less Expensive Brands

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H&M and Zara are the homes of trendy, one-size-fits-most clothing. Mass produced to keep costs down, buy colors and cuts that you like whether they hug your body or not. Then, head to your tailor. With their eye for shape, you’ll find yourself with look that will rival or look better than some very expensive brands. In the end, it’s not the brand of clothing so much as how it compliments your body.

 Revel in the Reduced Racks

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If you’re down for discontinued items from previous seasons, sniff out the reduced racks. Typically hidden from plain view in a back corner, they mix variety with affordability. Though not every store has one, those that do slash prices by 50-75% or more, making them of even greater value than the regular sales. You might want the new design, but last season’s fashion looks just as good for half the price

 Attend Sample Sales

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If you live near a downtown fashion capital, chances are you’ve heard of the sample sale. If you don’t, these events are a way for brand name companies to practically hand out their excess merchandise. You can score designer brands at a fraction of the original price. Some can be found by a simple online search, but some require a bit more digging. If they don’t advertise online, you might even have to look for them through white page listings.

 Sign Up For Promotional Lists and Coupons

1525 6355840185 401(K) 2012 via Flickr CC

On the same day, two people can go into a store and pay completely different prices for the same thing. The only difference was one had the right promotional code or coupon. Just about every store will have promotional sales, especially around the holidays, making it worth your money to shop only when coupons are abundant. Certain stores even feature seasonal sales that are not announced to the public as a way of clearing out the inventory. If you’re signed up with them, however, you’ll be one of the first to know.

 Visit Online Classified and Auction Sites

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Sometimes, people forget to return items within the grace period or lose the receipt. Enter the online classifieds. Places like Craigslist have millions of users just hoping to get rid of stuff. For the buyer, this is a bargain shopping goldmine. The clothes are still brand name, and it’s not like electronics where you need a warranty. Just be careful of scams. Expect nothing to happen with two out of every three sellers. Patience is the name of the game. EBay, on the other hand, offers more protection than Craigslist. It even features great deals similar to sample sales. If that still doesn’t work for you, Amazon doesn’t have auctions but it does sell second hand options for less.  Etsy

More sites What they have offer
      1525 Amazon Amazon A very solid marketplace with great customer service.  Great value to consumer marketplace.
      1525 bonanza Bonanza Stands somewhere between Amazon and Ebay.  Unique products at affordable prices
     1525 Ebay EBay When it comes to vast selection and bargain hunting, Ebay can be hard to beat
      1525 Etsy Etsy Unique handmade and vintage items.  Stuff you can’t find anywhere else.

 Check Out Fashion Blogs

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You would be floored to see just how imaginative fashion bloggers are. They can take virtually anything and transform it into a fashion piece worthy of the latest style. From years of practice, even generic, low end clothing from thrift stores or departments stores become trendy in mere minutes in their hands.

 Visit Outlet Stores

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True outlet stores are becoming harder and harder to spot. With the slow death of “The Mall” in America, retailers actively avoid building mall-like spaces. Instead, they opt for a shop-like feel, tricking shoppers into a false sense of money saving security. Depending on the store, a lot of items are discounted due to a minor problem. You might never notice a left pocket is a bit smaller than a right, but the company knows, and sends the piece to their outlet store. Some outlets offer a booklet with coupons. Occasionally this comes with a fee that can be waived with an AAA membership. Just like any other store, an outlet will have best prices during the holidays.

 Shop at Thrift Shops or Second Hand Stores

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It takes certain eye to piece together a fabulous wardrobe from a thrift shop or second hand store, but if you can figure out this art, you can end up with very sheik and unique style. Beware the vintage shops. The clothes are still very much chosen for their fashion presence, meaning the prices are far from affordable.